Submitted to and Passed at the 96th AEU Assembly
Whereas, in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the United States Supreme Court in a highly controversial five to four decision, ruled that corporations are “persons” and as such have a virtually unlimited right to expend corporate funds in support of political candidates, and
Whereas, the American Ethical Union believes that this decision is inconsistent with established law and common sense and that the consequences of the Court’s holding will enable monied special interest groups to manipulate public policy with devastating effects on the citizens of the States and our American democracy as we know it, and
Whereas, the American Ethical Union believes that all American citizens need to find ways and to take action to protect the integrity of our democratic society from the corrosive influence of profit-driven political spending unleashed by the Court,
Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved, the American Ethical Union urges all state governments, state legislatures, state representatives and other governmental officials to sponsor and enact legislation to require every for-profit corporation and labor union with nexus in the State to obtain the prior affirmative vote of a majority of all of its shareholders or members, respectively, prior to making any expenditures in support of political candidates and/or political positions, and be it further
Resolved, the American Ethical Union urges that such legislation include full and fair disclosure requirements by for-profit corporations and labor unions both to their shareholders/members and the public explaining the need and purpose of any campaign spending sought to be authorized by such entities, and be it further
Resolved, the Leaders and member organizations of the American Ethical Union are hereby called upon to promote awareness of the issue described herein, to inform the public of the threat to American democracy resulting from the Citizens United decision and to support legislation instituting the remedies proposed above by means including sending letters promoting same to legislative representatives and to the press.